Currently, there is strong interest among postdocs in gaining relevant experience in teaching. As opportunities become available, it is important to fully understand the details of any visa requirements and whether sponsored funding or fellowship terms impose restrictions on effort. Successful participation in teaching programs requires advance planning.
Check with the postdoc key contacts in your department, your department’s HR representative and the International Scholars Office to understand fully the conditions of your current visa (if applicable) and any issues with research sponsors that must be taken into account. Activities with minimal time requirements may not pose problems, while formal programs that specify regular participation over weeks or months require careful evaluation and planning.
Summary of Guidelines
Postdocs must consult with their supervisors and, when applicable, the International Scholars Office, when considering changes or additions to their original terms of appointment. Activities of international scholars need to be aligned with the terms of their visa.
Postdoctoral Associates who are paid entirely from their supervisors’ sponsored research funds devote full-time effort to their research activities unless adjustments are made to their effort and appropriate approvals are in place.
For Postdoctoral Fellows, fellowship terms and supervisor approval will determine changes that can be made in the postdoc’s appointment.
What opportunities are there for teaching at MIT?
There may be opportunities within your department, laboratory or center or in related units. Speak with your faculty supervisor and the postdoc key contact in your area to learn more. See also information on MIT’s Teaching and Learning Laboratory, particularly on the Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program. Tutoring and facilitating opportunities may also be available through MIT's Office of Minority Education (the Tutorial Services Room and Seminar XL), following all the guidelines listed above.